When you roll a cart by the cat food section of a local store, you’ll likely notice the overwhelming number of options available. What’s more, each of the brands look promising, with ingredient lists that seem pretty nutritious. The only thing keeping you from snagging the most fancy-looking product is probably the price Orijen cat food is definitely different, being one of the best budget brands.
However, the truth is, not all cat food products are ranked equally. Some fall below the standard, while others would make great diet choices for all the nine lives of our feline friends. As a cat owner, do you often feel overwhelmed when shopping for cat food? If so, Orijen is one of those cat-food brands that boast of natural ingredients suitably made for cats of all ages, breeds, and sizes. However, you’re probably wondering if they are really worth the hype. Continue reading to find out.
Orijen Review Cat Food 2021
Before we take a look at this brand, we’ll briefly go over how we review the brand and what products they offer as well as various FAQs.
We’ll take a look at ingredients, recalls, quality, value for money, product range, veteinary products and customers reviews and experience. Take a look at at the factors we take a look at when reviewing Orijen:
- Product variety
- Value for money
- Ingredients quality
- Veterinary products
- Customer service
- Recall History
About Orijen Cat Food Brand
Orijen is one of the leading brands of the Champion Petfoods Company in Canada, They are also one of the largest pet food companies in the country. The company offers unique and high-class food formulated to nourish pets appropriately and in accordance to their biological needs. That means their self-acclaimed evolutionary conditioning to a pet diet rich in fresh meat and other protein-based ingredients are peculiar to felines and canines.
The Champions Petfoods Company happens to be one of the first of its kind in Canada, and was established in 1985 by an entrepreneur called Reinhard Muhlenfeld. They started with just two employees, who made and packaged animal feed for local farmers in Alberta. With the hard work and dedication put in, by 2018, they had over 500 employees working at the various facilities in Alberta, Kentucky and Ontario.
They also have a team of innovators and researchers who work on the pet food’s development and research aspect. This team consists of food scientists, nutrition experts, and veterinarians. That means each formulated recipe has been thoroughly researched on, and developed by a team of experts who know their onions.
Orijen is one of the top flagship brands for Champion Pet Foods, and they are known for sourcing only fresh ingredients for each recipe. They depend on well-vetted farms and ranches in the regions around their facilities, and ensure their kitchens only process non-GMO fresh meats, fish and other protein-based ingredients. There are two main manufacturing facilities, one in Alberta, where the company was founded. They also have a recently established branch in Kentucky, for pet-parents and other establishments that prefer made-in-America products.
The Alberta kitchen distributes Orijen foods to stores in Canada, and also delivers to Europe and some parts of Asia, while the Kentucky kitchen caters to customers in the United States, as well as the Central and South American region. Another mantra of Champion Petfoods that probably attracts numerous dedicated customers is the policy that ensures they don’t outsource to other manufacturers.
All Orijen and Acana food are made in the manufacturing facilities, with locally sourced ingredients. That means that their ingredients depend on the environment they are sourced from. So, the Kentucky facility may not include salmon or other rich ocean fish, but more fresh seawater bass and catfish because of where it is located geographically.
These facilities have obtained the Safe Food Quality and Safe Feed/Safe Food certifications respectively, over the years.
Why Choose Orijen Cat Food?
Just like any other brand, Orijen has had its fair share of critics from competing brands and customers alike. If it’s not their prices taking a hit, then it’s the high-protein diet of the type of meat products used. However, overall, their protein-rich feeds have won the hearts of many pet-parents and establishments around the world. There are some good reasons, which are listed below.
- The whole prey diet.
The Orijen brand is one of the only dry cat food producers that base their recipes on a whole-prey inspired diet. That means they combine a variety of protein sources and nutritious animal parts to ensure each pet is getting a biologically-appropriate meal that focuses on the main food source felines are accustomed to.
The protein sources include meat, organ meat, bones, muscle meat and the cartilage. That’s why their feeds contain a high amount of quality protein that makes up 90% of the formula more often than not. The high-protein content may be mixed with some fruits and vegetables, but the carbohydrate content is very low, as it should be.
- They are an award-winning brand.
The Orijen brand has won numerous awards for their pet food recipes. Their significant research and development of protein-rich feeds that cater to the biological needs of canines has been exemplary and noteworthy in the pet food industry. Even though most of these awards were given in honor of their marketing prowess and success with their canine feeds, it still shows how significantly dedicated they are, and their respected position at the top when it comes to pet food.
- Rich protein content.
Cats are natural carnivores. They aren’t biologically engineered to eat plant-based sources of food. Asking a cat to do that would be similar to making a cow eat organ meats, or fish products rather than grazing comfortably in their own terrain. Some brands have tried to incorporate plant-based recipes into pet food, but trying to turn a flesh-loving cat to a vegan may be detrimental to their health and well-being.
That’s one of the major reasons Orijen is commended for its protein-rich recipes that included at least 40% to 90% of animal-sourced proteins, oils and amino acids formulated to cater to the biological needs of our feline friends.
- All-natural ingredients.
If you read through the Orijen cat food ingredient list, then you’ll notice that practically all of their ingredients are all-natural. The brand tries their best to ensure each ingredient is fresh, non-GMO, and all-natural to ensure the well-being and health of all pets that consume the feed. That means that none of their recipes include artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, or harmful additives.
- Their food is suitable for cats of all ages.
Thanks to Orijen’s unique biologically inspired diet, most of the recipes are suitable for kittens as well. Seeing that kittens need a rich protein-based diet to grow healthy and strong, feeding them the recommended amount of Orijen cat foods should achieve just that.
- They have an establishment in Kentucky.
This is surely good news for pet-parents who prefer to buy products that have a bold “Made in America’ stamped in the front. The Kentucky kitchen does not source ingredients from Canada or any other country, but rather depend on well-vetted local farms and ranches in the area. As mentioned before, this could mean that some ingredients in their formulas may be different.
That’s because the Kentucky region doesn’t boast of large ocean bodies that are in proximity to the facility, although they do have lush farmlands. So, instead of fresh salmon rich in Omega fatty acids or other ocean fish, they have to use the fresh fish options available to them geographically, like freshwater bass and catfish.
- Appropriate water content.
Some cats don’t readily rush to their water-filled bowls, they’d rather eat pet snacks and food and call it a day. However, water is very important for easy digestion and hydration, that’s probably why many pet parents prefer wet-canned food to dry kibbles.
Luckily, the Orijen dry cat food contains a good amount of moisture that makes the food easy to digest, and provides some of the water content they need. It’s still important to have them drink fresh water out of their bowls though.
- Low-Carb formula.
Biologically, cats don’t really need carbohydrates to thrive. They depend more on a protein-rich diet, and essential vitamins, fibers, and minerals. A diet that loads on too much carbohydrates may lead to health and weight issues like obesity, inflammation and even heart disease. When carbohydrates are included, the net content should be minimal and read as low on the glycemic index.
Orijen Cat Food – Top 3 Foods
1. Orijen Fit and Trim Formula.
When you’re looking for value for money, then the Orijen Fit and Trim Formula will certainly provide that. Just like the name suggests, this dry adult cat food has a formula that supports healthy body weight in cats, while supporting their muscle mass. The formula ensures your feline friend stays in an optimal physical condition and is available in four sizes; 4.5 pounds, 12 ounces, 13 pounds, and 25 pounds.
In general, the recipe is a combination of high-quality ingredients like turkey, chicken, wild-caught fish, and eggs. Also, most of the ingredients are fresh or raw ingredients to ensure your feline gets the best of a rich and beneficial protein diet.
Additionally, 44% of the recipe contains crude protein, which works to nourish the body, build and support healthy muscles, and promote their fitness and health. However, this dry cat food isn’t made with just raw or fresh proteins. There’s a high amount of moisture that constitutes at least 10% of the formula to ensure they are getting adequate water, and it aids proper digestion as well.
The moisture also reduces the likeliness of urinary tract infections, and ensures your cat is in top shape. In addition to the high-protein content, there’s also a blend of L-carnitine added to the mix to ensure the cat’s energy levels are up to par, and they don’t feel exhausted because of a low-carb diet. There’s also a blend of fresh vegetables and fruits which make up the healthy vitamins’ felines will be receiving by eating this rich cat feed.
Vegetables like beans, pumpkins, carrots, and lentils featured in this delicious dry food recipe, to ensure a somewhat balanced diet full of nutritious proteins and beneficial vitamins for every cat’s all-round growth. For cats battling with obesity issues, or with problems overeating, this protein-rich diet will surely help to ensure they feel fuller for longer, and benefit from a formula that not only checks their weight, but also keeps their bones and body strong.
- Chicken Liver
2. Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Food Formula.
For pet parents who prefer ‘Made in America’ food products, the Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Food Formula is probably one to consider. It’s one of the best cat food formulas from the Orijen brand, and comes in three different sizes; 4 pounds, 12 pounds and 12 ounces. Just like the name implies, this nutritious and healthy formula is suitable for both growing kittens and cats. Kittens benefit from a high-protein diet, as it helps develop and strengthen their bones and muscles in their early days, and promotes other health functions as well.
The formula is made from dehydrated chicken and turkey, which is air-dried at a very low temperature to ensure the meat is still fresh and nutritious. Just as expected, this dry food is also very protein rich, and is inspired by the type of food sources a cat would be accustomed to in the wild. So, your little kitten would be benefiting from a natural diet that features some of the ingredients they are mostly accustomed to, especially in taste.
The moisture content is also optimized to at least 10%, making the dry food easy to digest, and providing the water content these cats need to stay hydrated and healthy. However, the moisture content should not replace the pets usual water intake. Although the first ingredients are eggs, fish and organ meats, the formula is well balanced with other essential vitamins and nutrients.
Some of the beneficial vitamins include selenium to support a healthy immune system, folic acid to increase absorption and alleviate folate deficiencies, and potassium to help improve and maintain the normal function of muscles and increase electrolytes in the body. In addition, taurine is included in the blend to ensure healthy digestion, vision and heart health. It’s safe to say that this is a well-balanced diet for both growing and mature cats that deserve the best when it comes to food and nutrition.
- Boneless chicken
- Chicken meal
- Chicken liver
- Whole herring
- Boneless turkey
- Fresh eggs
3. Orijen Dry Food Formula.
The Orijen Dry Food Formula is another excellent formula for cats that love their food ‘meaty.’ With an 40% fat, carbohydrate, and protein content, it’s the perfect food for felines. Of course, the carbohydrates in the recipe are included in small amounts, and end up constituting at most 20% of the formula.
On the other hand, the fat content may seem a bit high, seeing that it makes up a whopping 20%, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just as much as cats need protein for healthy growth, they also need good amounts of fat. If you have an active cat, then a formula with high-fat content will be beneficial, because they’ll burn out and lose energy without it.
Since the formula is low in carbohydrates, healthy fats like Omega fatty acids replace that source of energy and ensure active cats have a good amount of energy to fuel their activities throughout the day. So, what makes this recipe different from the other protein-based formulas? Well, just as the name ‘regional red’ implies, this recipe is rich in red meats. So, sources like angus beef, wild boars, lamb and pork are some of the first ingredients here.
Since beef is rich in iron and zinc, it’s an incredible diet for cats that are either deficient, or just need to maintain optimal levels of such vitamins and nutrients. Also, that meaty consistency is toned down with an adequate amount of moisture that makes up about 10% of the recipe.
To balance it all up, there is a high-content omega 3 fatty acid as mentioned above, as well as potassium. Thanks to the addition of some plant-sourced ingredients like pumpkin, squash, and apples, the vitamins provided in this formula should be beneficial to the all-round health of most felines.
- Angus beef cattle
- Wild boar
- Plains bison
- Romney lamb
- Yorkshire pork
How Much Does Orijen Cat Food Cost?
While the Orijen Cat Food brand boasts of a variety of recipes, most of their products are practically the same price. An ounce of kibbles is usually around $0.30 to $0.35, which would put the cost per day at $0.91 according to the daily recommendation for cats that weigh an average of 11-lbs.
Various recipes distributed by the Orijen Cat Food brand can be found in many stores, but it’s better to shop at pet-specialty stores to choose from a larger variety. However, if buying the preferred pack from an in-store retailer is tasking or impossible, then there are other online stores that deliver straight to your doorstep like Amazon and Chewy.
Is Orijen good cat food?
Orijen products stand out as one of the few that provide a ‘whole-prey-inspired’ diet featuring muscle meats, fish, organ meats and even bones. Their recipes are very high in protein, and even though they focus solely on dry cat food, no special products like hypoallergenic cat foods, the kibbles still contain 10% moisture to ensure easy digestion. They also guarantee nutrients like Taurine which are essential to a feline’s diet to ensure they thrive on a biologically-appropriate diet.
Does Orijen make wet cat food?
Orijen is one of those pet-food brands that don’t make wet foods but focus solely on dry food recipes. Their dry food contains up to 90% of meats, which is usually a combination of fresh, freeze-dried and dehydrated meats or fish. The remaining 10% includes water to moisten the kibbles, provide them with the water content they need and also help digestion of the kibble.
How long does Orijen Food last?
Just like most authentic products, Orijen cat foods have the Best Before date boldly printed at the back of the bag. The manufacturing date is shown, as well as the day, month and year it will expire. However, even without checking the best before date, each food package will most likely expire 18 months after it has been packaged. Also, try to store the bags in a cool dry place, as heat, excess light or surfaces that are moist could reduce the shelf life.
Has Orijen ever had a recall?
Orijen may be one of the best dry food brands for cats, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some complaints about their products. There have been up to three recalls on some of their products with reports of sickness or sensitivity of some cats to the food. The recall that happened in 2003 was probably one that hit the brand a little harder than usual, as some of the meat ingredients were seriously questioned.
Orijen Cat Food Review Summary
Orijen Cat Food has one its place as one of the best cat dry foods in the industry. They promise a biologically-appropriate balanced formula that’s made to keep felines healthy, strong and happy. Thanks to their rich ingredient list, and use of fresh meats and fish rather than unhealthy fillers or artificial flavors, it’s not like many other commercial cat food brands.
The first ingredients are always meats, and beneficial animal parts that will appeal to cats who love their beefy food. They also don’t try to incorporate too many plant-based ingredients into their formulas. Since cats are carnivores, their diets require mostly animal-based meats, and that’s exactly what Orijen guarantees.
The brand only produces dry cat food, with 90% protein content and 10% water. The food is relatively moist, but may not substitute for the water intake your cat needs. While Orijen does add some vegetables to ensure a balance of fiber and essential vitamins in each recipe, they don’t make use of grains or other unnecessary fillers in the mix.
It may be the ideal diet food for a good number of cats; however, that doesn’t mean some cats don’t react or even reject their recipes altogether. Since the ingredients are majorly animal-parts and meat/fish products, some cats that have high sensitivities to such products may not react well to the kibble. However, for meat and fish-loving felines who would rather gobble up kibbles than wet-canned cat food, this would make a rich, nutrient-filled, and balanced diet.
The price may seem a bit hefty for some, but if you have more notes to spare, then the trade-off won’t seem so expensive.